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Two acupuncture needles, Japan, 2004-2005

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In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture needles are inserted into certain points on the skin to unblock the flow of qi (chi), energy in the body that is considered essential to wellbeing. Seirin, the company that made these acupuncture needles, produced the first single-use disposable needle in 1978. The needles are sold in sterile packaging to prevent the transmission of infections and come in a variety of thicknesses, indicated by their coloured ends.

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    Glossary: acupuncture needle

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    Glossary: acupuncture

    A central therapy in Traditional Chinese Medicine, where fine needles are inserted into the skin at specific points. These points are believed by to lie on channels, or meridians, of energy flow, or qi (chi).

    Glossary: Traditional Chinese Medicine

    Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a medical tradition originating in China, but now used worldwide. Treatments include herbal medicine, massage and acupuncture, which are combined to create a therapy tailored to the patient.